Borough Council of Wellingborough

Air quality

Image of a Diffuser tube

Air Quality and Health

Air Quality is a measure of how good the air we breathe is, in terms of the type and quantity of pollutants contained within it. Air is polluted if it contains substances that may have a harmful effect on human health and the environment. Poor air quality can affect people's health causing problems such as heart diseases and breathing problems.  Government standards and air quality objectives are related to observable health effects.

Local Air Quality

Wellingborough Council undertakes an annual review and assessment of local air quality as required under the Environment Protection Act 1995.

The Government has set a number of air quality objectives for the following pollutants: 1, 3 Butadiene, Benzene, Carbon Monoxide, Lead, Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and PM10.

Annual assessments utilise national guidance to consider polluting industries, road sources etc within the Borough and their potential impact on the above pollutant levels.

The national regime has enabled us to focus on one pollutant NO2 where there is a likelihood of a problem in the area.

Annual reports have however concluded that all of UK air quality objectives including those for NO2 are currently being met in the area covered by the Borough of Wellingborough. As a result no Air Quality Management Areas have been declared.

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

The Council has been monitoring since 1997. There are currently 10 NO2 diffusion tube sites located throughout the district. The current sites were chosen to provide local data on:

  • Locations with the highest level of pollutants
  • Locations that appear to be representative of likely residential exposure
  • Reference rural background locations where the levels of NO2 should be low.

Latest NO2 diffusion tube monitoring results 

Industrial Air Pollution

Most of the industrial/commercial uses in the Borough are situated on purpose built industrial areas as follows:

Park Farm Industrial Estate - to the west of Wellingborough
Finedon Road Industrial Area - to the north of Wellingborough
Denington Road Industrial Area - to the south of Wellingborough
Laurence Leyland Industrial Area - to the east of Wellingborough

In addition some of the outlying villages, in particular Wollaston, Finedon and Earls Barton, include industrial factories with potential for releases of certain pollutants to atmosphere.

There are no very large point sources of industrial activity in the Borough (such as power generating plant or heavy industry) from which significant releases to atmosphere .

The industry that exists is generally integrated within industrial areas along with commercial, wholesale, retail and distributive industries away from housing areas or other more sensitive uses.

Under normal operation none of the industrial processes in the Borough on their own are expected to release pollutants to atmosphere so as to cause exceedences of air quality objectives. Polluting industries within the Borough are subject to controls under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 designed to minimise emissions to atmosphere.

For further information on industrial processes in the Borough and legislative controls please click here.

The Council's aims

  • Continue to monitor and review air quality in line with the National Air Quality Objectives.
  • Work together to manage our air quality
  • Raise awareness on air quality and its role in achieving a sustainable environment.
  • Continue to regulate polluting industries under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.

What can the local community do to improve local air quality?

  • Don't use the car for short journeys
  • Join a car share scheme
  • Utilise public transport
  • Ask your employer about working from home
  • Cycle to work
  • Walk whenever you can
  • Insulate your property and use energy efficiently
  • Inform the Council about pollution incidents in your area.

Last updated: 13/03/2015